Hi! This is Dr. Michael DiMattina, Medical Director of Dominion Fertility in the Washington, D.C. area. I want to discuss our infertility assessment.
Last week was National Infertility Awareness Week. We are also, at Dominion Fertility, celebrating 30 years of our experience performing IVF and being one of the most experienced, one of the largest, IVF centers in the United States.
What I want to talk to you about today is evaluation of the infertile couple, what to do if you have infertility. Well, it should be a very pleasant experience, not threatening, and you should feel comfortable going to the center and talking to the doctors. You should not feel rushed and you should be able to get all your questions answered and feel that it’s all about you and making a baby. After all, that’s why you go to the doctor in the fertility center.
…it’s all about you and making a baby.
The infertility investigation should be completed in 2-3 weeks. It is very simple. It’s noninvasive. It involves, for the male, a simple semen analysis, where his sperm are counted, the motility assessment is performed to see how the sperm are moving, and lastly, we check morphology to make sure that the shapes of the sperm are appropriate for procreation. Then that’s pretty much it for the male. There are some other tests, but we start with the basic semen analysis. For the female, it involves a pelvic sonogram, which is a noninvasive ultrasound, to evaluate the uterus and the ovaries, then we perform some blood tests, checking some important hormones. The ones that I particularly like to evaluate are the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), prolactin, and thyroid. Then lastly, we perform a hysterosalpingogram, which is an x-ray test performed to see primarily if the fallopian tubes are open or if they are blocked or obstructed. In using these four simple tests, one on the male and three on the woman, we are able to determine the vast majority of the causes for infertility. Actually, it is about 50/50. Half of the guys have problems and half the women seem to have an issue, and not uncommonly, both may have a factor or two that are contributing to infertility. That’s not uncommon at all. But the whole process should take 2-3 weeks and then the couple should sit down with their doctor, feel comfortable, get their questions answered. This is not that terribly esoteric, where they cannot understand what is going on and why they are having this problem. Then the treatment should be individualized and personalized to meet their care. Formulate cookie-cutter medicine is practiced, not uncommonly, for treatment of infertility, but we don’t agree with that approach. We think it’s all about the individual couple, finding out what is causing their infertility, and then directly setting up a program that meets their specific needs. By doing this, Dominion Fertility has made thousands and thousands of babies and many happy, appreciative patients. We love our work, we take our time with our patients, it is all about them. As I always say – show me the baby! Happy Infertility Awareness Week.
…the whole process should take 2-3 weeks and then the couple should sit down with their doctor, feel comfortable, get their questions answered
Dr. Michael DiMattina, Medical Director, Dominion Fertility in the Washington, D.C. area.